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Prosodic domains in Baule

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2002

William R. Leben
Affiliation:
Stanford University
Firmin Ahoua
Affiliation:
University of Cocody

Abstract

This paper deals with the domains of some phonological rules of Baule, a Bia language of the Central Tano group (Stewart 1989) spoken in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa. Like the other languages in this group, Baule has phonological Low and High tones, and a Low tone lowers the register of following High tones – the phenomenon widely referred to as downdrift. But Baule is distinguished from other members of the Central Tano group (and, indeed, from other downdrifting languages that we have studied) in that, within specified domains, sequences of two or more High tones exhibit a rise in pitch over the sequence.

In this paper we show that the occurrence of the rising pattern over High-tone sequences helps to make a clear distinction in Baule between the prosodic word and the morphological word, in line with the results of Selkirk (1980), Nespor & Vogel (1986), Inkelas (1990) and others. We motivate the Baule prosodic word as a phonological constituent whose delimitation is based on the morphological word, but with modifications based on language-particular syntactic, morphological and phonological considerations. Baule prosodic words include, along with simple morphological words that are lexical items in the language, compounds, proper names, noun+adjective and noun+numeral constructions. Other prosodic words are formed by affixing monosyllabic elements (including pronouns, nouns and numerals) to adjacent lexical units.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1997 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

This is a revised version of papers presented at TREND, at the Mid-America Linguistics Conference in 1994, at the 1995 meeting of the Linguistics Society of America, and at informal meetings at Berkeley and at MIT. We are grateful to participants of these meetings for comments and challenges that led to improvements in the present version. We especially thank Young-Mee Cho and Larry Hyman for their telling observations on prosodic phonology and on tone, respectively, and Bob Ladd for his most helpful suggestions and for criticisms that led us to rethink the article. Dafydd Gibbon and several anonymous reviewers provided extremely helpful suggestions on the pre-final draft. Finally, we gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the linguistics graduate students in our project on Comparative Phonology of Ivoirian Languages at Université de Cocody, Côte d'Ivoire. The project and part of the work for this paper are supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, SBR-9514718.

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